Smart Cycling Class – December 9, 2017

Build your cycling skills, knowledge and confidence!

Join Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas for

SMART CYCLING

When:
Saturday, December 9, 2017
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where:
HIA Velo
2201 Brookwood Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas

In this one-day Smart Cycling skills course, you will learn about basic bike maintenance and repair, practice skills to improve your safety and confidence on your bike, and participate in a ride on city streets following all rules of the road to increase your predictably, visibility, and safety. This class is also the precursor to becoming an LCI.

What to bring: Your bicycle and helmet, clothing appropriate for riding in the weather, water bottle, snacks, and lunch.

$28 (regularly $50) thanks to the support of Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas. Lunch will be provided. Scholarships available. Email for info.
Class is limited to 10 people

For more information please email bicycleadvocacyinfo@gmail.com
Class size is limited, so don’t delay!

BACA Needs BDB Expo Volunteers!

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There’s no doubt the Big Dam Bridge has become an icon and served our community in countless ways. One of those ways is the Big Dam Bridge ride, an annual ride put together by the Big Dam Bridge foundation that brings riders from all over the United States — including a few professional riders.

BACA will have a booth at the BDB Expo on Thursday, September 22 from 4-7 p.m. and Friday, September 23 from noon to 8 p.m. Come visit us or contact us about volunteering. We look forward to seeing you out there!

Big Dam Bridge Celebrates 10 Years

On  Thursday, September 8, Little Rock and North Little Rock citizens and local leaders met at the Big Dam Bridge to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of its opening. In the past 10 years, nearly 9 million people have crossed the $12.5 million bridge. At 4,200 feet, it is the longest bike and pedestrian-specific bridge in the world and it has been named one of the top 10 bridges to visit.2016-09-08-10-31-01

Volunteers Needed for Bike and Pedestrian Count Surveys

September is always a busy month for us and this time we really need your help with volunteering! Join in on the National Bike and Pedestrian Documentation Project, which seeks to track growth in walking and bicycling around the United States. The survey will take place on the following dates and times in Little Rock:

Saturday, September 12 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday, September 15 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

We have around 36 open time slots that need to be filled at various places and times around Little Rock and we’d love to have you out there counting bicyclists and walkers!

If you are interested in helping, please contact BACA President Mason Ellis at masonellis@gmail.com to see the available dates and sign up! Thanks for helping.

Introducing Cyclists of Arkansas

Cyclists of Arkansas

Who are the cyclists of Arkansas? They are our neighbors, our friends, and our family. They are out teachers, and our students, our nurses and our doctors. They are our community, people we see every day, and these are their stories.

BACA is happy to announce the launch of Cyclists of Arkansas. We will share stories and photos of people on bikes from all walks of life and who ride for all sorts of reasons. Whether you are an avid cyclists or occasionally see someone ride by on a bike, keep in mind that we are just like you, we just happened to be on a bike.

Contact us or message the Facebook page to share your stories or add stories of others you know or who you meet. A few sentences about who you are, why you ride and a photo of yourself is all we need. For your photo, leave off all the gear and riding kits and show us yourself as if we were to meet you walking down the street.

Please enjoy Cyclists of Arkansas

Ride to Save the Big White River Bridge

The Big White River Bridge in Clarendon is a beautiful historic bridge over the White River Wildlife Refuge that the

White River Bridge

The Historic Big White River Bridge

community is trying to save. We’d like to get a good group of riders to show up and help publicize and save the bridge. Arkansas Bicycle Club will ride from Scott (south of Little Rock) to Clarendon, AR–about 60 miles–starting Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. A support vehicle will be on hand for bags and extra water and a police escort will join us over the bridge. Friday and Saturday nights we will have indoor camping with air conditioning and showers in Clarendon. Saturday morning we’ll ride over the bridge and back, then probably continue to the Louisiana Purchase State Historic Site for around 45 miles of riding. We will ride back to Scott on Sunday, August 9.

Those interested in just riding over the bridge on Saturday, August 8, may come just for the day ride starting at 8:30 a.m.

If you Register for free at https://arkansasbicycleclub.wildapricot.org/page-18090you will be on the email list for any updates.

For more information about the ride, contact Jim Britt, jobritt@sbcglobal.net501-912-1449

We hope to see you out there!

To learn more about efforts to save the bridge, check out the Facebook page.

Fort Roots Trail Widened

Many bicyclists have biked up the scenic Fort Roots hill to ride around the grounds on top of the hill and back down.  Not all cyclists are aware of the paved “Fort Roots Highlands Perimeter Trail” that winds around the perimeter of the hill/mountain just above the quarry (take a left on to the trail a couple hundred feet or so before the gate and guard house at the top of the hill).  The paved trail is about two miles long and comes out on the north side of Pulaski Tech and the Fort Roots campus.  The trail has some of the most spectacular views around, perhaps on the planet.  HOWEVER, until last week the trail had one significant deficiency – a several hundred yard section that narrowed to the width of a small sidewalk (see photo) immediately behind the old officers’ houses, while the width of the rest of the trail is 12′ to 14′.  The sidewalk narrow section was difficult and dangerous to ride, especially since a several hundred foot drop-off into the quarry was just a few feet from the edge of the trail.
As part of its advocacy effort, BACA has been working to get the trail widened.  BACA is pleased to report that through the efforts of North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith and Parks and Recreation Director Bob Rhoads, working with the Fort Roots Veterans facility administration, that section has now been widened to the same 12′ to 14′ width as the rest of the trail.  The entire trail is now a great riding experience.  See the before and after comparison in the photos below.
BACA very much appreciates the efforts of Mayor Smith, Director Bob Rhoads, and the Veterans Administration to make the trail much safer and enjoyable to use.

Fort Roots Trail

The Before and After of the narrow trail section at Fort Roots

Riverfront Drive Reconfiguration Meets Opposition

The public meeting regarding the Riverfront Bike lanes on Monday, April 27 was heated to say the least. Residents

The plan for Riverfront Drive

from the nearby Canal Pointe neighborhood turned out in force to oppose the Riverfront Drive proposal. While some cyclists and residents did show up in support, their comments in favor of the project were greatly overpowered by the rest of the crowd.

Currently the city is looking at scrapping the project because of the disapproval at the public meeting.

We need BACA’s support TODAY!

If you are in favor of the project, If you think the River trail is more important for Central Arkansas than an over-engineered 1 mile stretch of road, if you feel the current configuration of the trail is dangerous for families and visitors, please show your support for this project. Because as of now, the city has heard that the people of Little Rock do not want a safer Riverfront Drive and think that a single striped bike lane on a speedy over-built road is adequate for the Arkansas River Trail.

If you use the Arkansas River Trail and want to make it safer for everyone, we ask you to please email the city and let them know!

Email your support for a “Riverfront drive road diet and widening of River Trail to 13ft in either direction” to the following emails: bmoore@littlerock.org, mstodola@littlerock.orgttolefree@littlerock.org,Jhoneywell@littlerock.orgjlewno@littlerock.org. and well as Ward 3 Director Kathy Webb at kathywebb14@gmail.com

The plan for Riverfront Drive

The plan for Riverfront Drive

Little Rock City Board Passes Complete Streets Ordinance

On Tuesday, April 21st, the Little Rock City Board of Directors voted 9-1 in favor of the proposed complete streets ordinance that had been in the works since mid-2014.

Speakers from the Little rock Sustainability Commission, AARP, Studio Main and BACA all presented to the city board members on the benefits of complete streets, including safer streets for all users–from people who ride transit to people with disabilities to people who ride bikes, walk or run. For more information about complete streets, see this Complete Streets FAQ.

BACA appreciates the cooperation of the Little Rock city board members in working to make our roads safer for everyone. Now that the ordinance has passed, the challenge becomes enforcement, or ensuring that the city and developers actually follow through with the ordinance. This will be discussed at a later date. Thank you all for your support! It was a community effort all the way and we are excited to move forward.

South Main Complete Streets

South Main Street is one example of a “Complete Street” in Little Rock

 

 

Clinton School Students

BACA General Membership Meeting Recap

BACA’s spring general meeting was held Thursday, April 2 at the Oyster Bar. We had some great speakers! We heard from a representative of the Clarendon/White River Bridge about how much BACA’s support has helped push their issue forward. The decision has not yet been made to save the bridge, but we are awaiting more news on how we can help. the Arkansas Bicycle Club has discussed organizing a ride to Clarendon to ride over the bridge (which is a gorgeous ride through a hardwood tree canopy).  Stay tuned for more info!

We also had an excellent presentation from a team of students from the Clinton School of Public Service. We had approached them to help us develop a plan to promote the benefits of Complete Streets and how we might better support our efforts to get such a measure passed. Students Angela and Tatiana suggested using the power of social media to spread stories of people on bikes and other types of road users. BACA is planning a new social media and website campaign that will feature short profiles of riders around town–what makes them ride, what they love about riding in Little Rock and what they would like to see. Tune in to our Facebook page for more on this front.

 

We also discussed BACA’s action on the potential closing of the Big Dam Bridge between midnight to 4 a.m. to cut down on deviant behavior (see this post by Jbar Cycling). The bridge is apparently a hangout spot for young troublemakers who like to throw things off the bridge and vandalize the property. BACA has chosen to fight to keep the bridge open 24/7/365 and is looking into alternatives to closing it during those hours.

There’s a lot coming up soon! We’ll be talking about Ditch the Keys Week and Bike to Work Day in the next few weeks.